I know some pretty amazing women. These women are driven, filled with faith, and I feel there is so much we can learn from each one and her personal journey. These church ladies break all molds and reflect God beautifully in so many different ways.
Today, it’s my pleasure to introduce you to Claudia. She has a great sense of humor (as you will soon see below), and she calls God “Dad,” which I love. On Modern Witnesses, she speaks to us about our identity in Christ and what grace really means.
[Claudia P. is on the left.]
Inspiring biblical passage of the moment: “Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call us brothers and sisters.” (Hebrews 2:11)
This verse absolutely wrecks me. There’s so much in it. First it tells me that the Lord has made me holy (wow), and then, it tells me that I’m in the same family (wow!), then it goes on to say that Jesus isn’t ashamed of me (wow!!). I mean, that’s my entire identity, right there in that verse.
“I mean, that’s my entire identity, right there in that verse.”
Spiritual growth focus at the moment: Right now, the Lord is teaching me about obedience. He’s teaching me just how important it is, and how I can live in obedience to the Holy Spirit. Jesus accomplished great things because He was completely, 100% obedient to what His Father wanted Him to do.
Profession: I’ve recently become unemployed, so for the moment, I’m just doing what the Lord wants me to do, while I try to sell some paintings on the side.
A one sentence bio about yourself: I love the Lord, I’m passionate about people, and painting is kinda fun.
When did you first encounter God? In January 2014, at a Youth Alive Conference (YA Instagram: @youthaliveqld), my life was in shambles, but then I met Him. He showered me in love, and since then, He hasn’t left my side, not even for a moment. Since that day, I feel like I’m encountering more and more of who He is and what He’s about. I’ve discovered more about Jesus this year than ever before. I’m falling in love with Him all over again.
What has helped you grow spiritually in this season? Two things.
First thing: People. The people that Jesus is surrounding me with at the moment are absolutely amazing. They’re not afraid to speak the truth in love, and they push me toward the things of God. They’re constantly pointing me toward the Father and reminding me of who He says I am and what that means. I’ve never been more thankful for people.
Second thing: A friend of mine recently recommended a collection of videos (Called the Jesus School). They’ve hit me hard and whacked me out, a little bit. I would recommend them to anyone who wants to know the truth about what the Bible says about them.
Just read / currently reading: Right now, I cannot keep my nose out of Jonah, Colossians and Hebrews. Boy, oh boy.
Top three essentials: The Bible, a nice pen, and United Pursuit: Simple Gospel album. TOO GOOD, TEAM!
How did God speak to you recently? I’m currently in a season of change, and I’m moving on from my current Church, to another. I have many reasons to support the change, but I just wasn’t sure where God stood on the issue. There was no way I was moving without His input. Quite recently though, He told me that whether I move or whether I stay, He’s going with me.
“He told me that whether I move or whether I stay, He’s going with me.”
Hobby? Painting– I’m obsessed. Especially, when I chuck some worship music on and spend time with Dad while I’m up to my elbows in acrylics. This is bliss. I post a bunch of arty stuff on Instagram here: @thpekka.
Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong:
Read your Bible. Soak it in. Breathe it in. Engage. Listen. Learn. Live in the Bible.
Talk to Him. He’s not a ‘once-a-week-on-a-Sunday’ kinda guy. The Holy Spirit can be real chatty. Get to know Him. I mean, really, really get to know Him. And don’t just talk but listen. You’ll find that He’s funny, wise, compassionate, beautiful, sympathetic, understanding, relatable, beyond wonder, kind, creative, a good cook, a great traveler, a fantastic story teller, and someone you actually want to spend time with. Want to be spiritually strong? Go to the One who is strength.
Worship. Romans 12:1 says this, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”
“Want to be spiritually strong? Go to the One who is strength.”
Favorite person in scripture? Jesus. Paul is exceptionally wise, but I don’t want to be like him. Abraham is incredibly obedient, but I don’t want to be like him. David was the king of praise and worship, but I don’t want to be like him. I want to be like Jesus. He’s my favorite.
“I want to be like Jesus.”
What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? Wow, this is a great question. I’d like people to know just how incredibly loved they are by Him. I want to showcase His love in such a way that people can actually physically feel His heart pouring out onto them.
There’s much to learn and God will show His people what they need to know, but before all of that and above all that, I want them to know that there is nothing they can do that can separate Him from us. I just want them to know they are loved. Absolutely loved.
Favorite season? WINTER. WINTER. WINTER.
Favorite holiday: Probably Easter. I mean, I can buy chocolate whenever I want, but Jesus died for me and then He rose again. That’s whack.
A special tradition you and your family engage in or keep: Hmm, this is tricky… Okay, normally, my Dad wakes up before everyone, like say, 6:00AM, every day, EVER. But, on Christmas, me and my siblings, ever since we were little kids, have had to storm into my parents’ room, jump on the bed and make a ruckus, as he pretends to be asleep and snores SUPER loud. It takes close to half an hour to get him out of bed. The youngest of us is 16 now and my Dad is still keeping this up.
Question you will ask when you get to Heaven? I’ll have eternity with Dad so I imagine I’m going to ask a million+ questions. I would really like to know, though, what He wrote in the sand that day when He saved the woman from her accusers.
Thing you want to raise awareness about: Identity; specifically, as sons and daughters, our righteousness and holiness. Also, how grace does not only excuse us; but it empowers us to live absolutely free from sin.
“[G]race does not only excuse us; but it empowers us to live absolutely free from sin.”
What do you usually do before 9 a.m.? If I get up before 9 a.m. (I’m not super great in the mornings), then I say good morning to the Lord and locate some coffee. Also, I have to pee, duh.
What is on your nightstand? I don’t have a nightstand, but on my bed, next to my pillow, I leave my Bible, a notebook and my phone.
For more Claudia P.:
Art Instagram: @thpekka
Until next time, keep witnessing!